FRIGHTFUL OPPOSITION: TOP 5 MOST SCARY PREM PLAYERS EVER
Halloween is a time meant for being slightly scared and make no doubt about it, these Premier League footballers are not who you want to mess with…
Roy Keane is one of the most tough-talking pundits in the UK and has the career to back up those harsh statements. It was always a scary thought for any tricky midfielder that one day Keane would connect with one of his trademark tough tackles. After joining Nottingham Forest from Cobh Ramblers, Keane established himself as one of the best young central midfielders in the Premier League. Manchester United came calling for the Irishman and from there he was a huge success domestically and in continental competition. His first of 11 red cards for United came when he stamped on Gareth Southgate in an FA Cup semi-final replay. His most infamous red was when he sought retribution on Alf Inge Haland, who had previously injured him. Four years on from the injury, Keane hit Haland with a knee-high tackle which led to the demise of Haland’s career and calls for Keane to be arrested for premeditated assault.
When you think of a football hardman, the person you think of is Vinnie Jones. The man even brought out his own DVD giving advice to other wannabe football ‘hardmen’, which cost him £20,000 in fines and a six-month suspension from the game. A big part of the ‘Crazy Gang’ Wimbledon side that shocked England when they won the 1988 FA cup, Jones brought his hard-hitting style of play to the Premier League upon its foundation in 1992. We all remember the image of Jones grabbing Paul Gascoigne in the nether regions and that sums up well the type of player Jones was. The Englishman has capitalised on this image, starring as the tough guy character in multiple film and tv roles.
Patrick Viera was a phenomenal footballer, leading Arsenal through the famous invincible season and much more. He was also one of the scariest players for anyone to come up against. Firstly, his ability on the football pitch is a scary enough prospect for opposition, but the Frenchman also was one of the more ill-disciplined players in the Premier League. Just like his at the time arch-nemesis Roy Keane, Viera had a knack for getting sent off, once receiving two red cards in 72 hours against Sunderland and Liverpool. The Frenchman was a scary sight for any opposition midfielder and also one of the best midfielders in Premier League history.
When a footballer receives a prison sentence for something they did on a football pitch, you know they are going to be scary. In 1995, Duncan Ferguson was sentenced to three months in prison, for a headbutt on John McStay while playing for Rangers which alongside two previous assault cases led to the sentencing. Ferguson brought his intimidating presence to the Premier League in 1994 on loan at Everton, in which he impressed enough to earn a permanent move. Despite not being available at the start of the season due to his prison time, Ferguson ended up cementing himself as a favourite at Goodison Park but his ill-discipline plagued him throughout his career, picking up red cards for mainly elbow based offences.
When going up against Manchester United in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, strikers knew they were in for a tough afternoon when Jaap Stam was in the starting line-up. Standing at 6’3, Stam had a real presence that would intimate many strikers in the league. It was not just Stam’s presence that was intimidating though, as his ability to read situations and all-round technical ability made him one of the best centre backs in the Premier League. Stam’s bald head and height made him someone no one wanted to mess with and that translated into a very successful career around Europe.